Hong Kong needs to nurture talent for global outreach

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 November, 2016, 4:43pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 November, 2016, 10:37pm

The recently released “Hong Kong 2030 Plus” public engagement paper reiterated Hong Kong’s vision to become “Asia’s world city”.

Understandably “Hong Kong 2030 Plus” is formulated by the Planning Department and the Development Bureau and, hence, the focus is on the planning, land and infrastructural development of Hong Kong. So, it is not exactly a vision for the city.

With the imminent election of the next chief executive, there are strong expectations from various quarters that the next government has to be able to articulate a clear vision for Hong Kong.

The next chief executive should demonstrate how under his or her leadership Hong Kong can become a major Chinese city and, at the same time, be the most international city in Asia. And these two propositions are not, and should not be, mutually exclusive.

Indeed, Hong Kong can only serve its development needs and those of the Chinese mainland by further developing its global outlook, knowledge and connections.

“Hong Kong 2030 Plus” points out the need to develop a broader range of education and training facilities, such as science, technology, engineering, mathematics and design. Hong Kong certainly needs to reinvent its education system to meet the needs of the 21st-century economy. But, more fundamentally, we need to nurture a new generation of talented people who possess the language and cultural literacy of a global citizen.

Trade promotion bodies like the Hong Kong economic and trade offices and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council have to step up their efforts in facilitating Hong Kong’s small and medium-sized enterprises to do business with global markets, including, for example, the provision of market intelligence.

The support should go beyond the trading of goods and services to the trading and commercialisation of intellectual property. More effort should be made to strengthen the role of Hong Kong in helping mainland enterprises reach out to global markets.

To propel its development as a smart and sustainable city, Hong Kong should aspire to be the testing laboratory of the best and next international practices.

The government procurement system and regulations have to be updated to enable innovative practices to take place.

Incentives can also be provided to encourage cutting-edge ideas from around the world to be realised in Hong Kong.

Rachel Chan, Causeway Bay